Online Program

Informing HIV prevention for adults over 50: A mixed-methods study

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sarah Marie Smith, B.A., MSW/MPH candidate, George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Public Health, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Philip Horn, MSW, MPH, George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Public Health, Washington University School of Medicine
Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., George Warren Brown School and the Department of Surgery of the School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
background: Despite an increase in the number of older adults living with HIV, there is little information as to where older adults (50+) receive sexual health information.  This project aims to a) explore the experiences of older adults with sexual health information and b) analyze message(s) presented in web-based materials that older adults report using for sexual health information.

methods: This mixed method study used semi-structured interviews with a diverse sample of adults over 50 (N=20) to identify experiences with sexual health information and search terms and topics used to obtain information.  Additionally, a web-based quantitative content analysis (N=60) was conducted after the interviews to determine characteristics of web-based sexual health information used by older adults.  Interviews were analyzed using NVivo 10 and modified grounded theory. 

results: When asked about potential sources of information, participants most frequently cited the internet and health care professionals.  However, participants primarily used the internet, while very few used health care professionals.  In order to assess their risk of HIV, participants reported depending on social connections and news reports.  Participants thought information on pleasure and safer sex were important, although men were more likely to discuss the two as mutually exclusive. 

conclusion: There are few programs and policies in the area of sexual health and HIV prevention for older adults.  While participants in this study identified several sources of sexual health information, few had received information outside of the internet.  Programs and policies should promote the delivery of comprehensive sexual health information to older adults.   

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify sources of sexual health information used by adults over 50. Assess web-based sexual health information for adults over 50. Discuss the experiences of adults over 50 with sexual health information.

Keyword(s): Aging, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for the study presented and have academic preparation and research experience in the areas of mixed-methods design, CBPR, chronic disease, aging, and health education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.